We Talked to Sommeliers and Experts to Find 6 Wine Fridges for Every Budget and Space

We spoke to sommeliers and wine experts to find the best wine fridges. We also noted any special features, like multi-zone temperature control.

collage of Wine Enthusiast 32-Bottle Dual Zone MAX Compressor Wine Cooler
Serious Eats / Kristin Kempa

One of the most alluring qualities of wine is its ability to age. Even though it’s in a sealed bottle, it develops flavor and becomes more complex over time—that is if it’s stored correctly. Proper storage can also help prevent the tragedy of saving a bottle for a special occasion only to discover it's muted or corked when you finally pop it open. 

Most advice for storing wine is simple: keep bottles on their side in a cool, dark place. Sure, you could just stick them in your basement and hope for the best. But if you’re looking to invest more in your wine collection or want to take better care of your current stock, a wine fridge ensures properly stored vino. But what makes a good one? To find out, we chatted with a slew of experts: Scott Carney, a master sommelier and dean of Wine Studies at the Institute of Culinary Education; Aubrey Bailey, a sommelier at the French Laundry in Yountville, California; Daniel de la Nuez of Forthave Spirits; and Cesar Vega of Les Vins de Barbichette, a natural wine producer. We've rounded up their recommendations, as well as a staff-favorite fridge, with options for newbies and seasoned cellarers alike.

The Winners, at a Glance 

This wine fridge holds 32 bottles, a Goldilocks number that makes it an excellent pick for most anyone. We appreciate its dual-zone design, which allows you to store reds or whites at different temperatures.

The Rocco wine fridge is cold, quiet, and cool, with an eye-catching mid-century modern aesthetic. Senior commerce editor Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm has had hers for about five months; she loves its easy-to-use app, dual temperature zones, and that the fridge doubles as a bar cart. 

The EuroCave holds 146 bottles—which is a lot for a budding wine collector, but a boon for a seasoned cellarer in need of a good amount of storage space. This fancy fridge even has an alarm system that notifies you if temperatures enter the danger zone. 

This petite wine fridge can hold up to eight bottles and features an easy-to-read LED temperature display. Because of its compact size (and low price tag), it’s a great model for those new to wine collecting or with limited space. 

The Ivation fits 12 bottles and allows you to store them between 41-64°F. This versatility is a boon when you’re starting out cellaring wine since you can store reds, whites, and roses in one unit. 

Things to Consider

Temperature Matters (Or, What is Cellaring Anyway?) 

bottles of wine in the Rocco wine fridge
The ideal temperature for storing wine is between 55-57ºF, which helps keep maderization (or off-flavors) at bay.Serious Eats / Adam Rothbarth

Wine cellaring involves the practice of aging bottles in a controlled environment for a select period to improve the quality. “If your interest in wine is driven by the marvel of the ‘life’ of a wine and the fascinating stages of that life, from youth to adolescence to adulthood—then a respect for its living quarters is essential,” says Carney.

When it comes to storing wine, heat is the enemy. Think about the transformative powers of heat during cooking—a ripe strawberry has much lighter and brighter flavors than strawberry jam, which is rich and fudgy. Heat can create a similar change in wine. During storage, hot temperatures can cook wine, transforming its fresh fruit profile into a murky, raisin-y mess. While this process, known as maderization, is intentional when making Madeira (a fortified wine known for its nutty and caramelized flavors), when this happens accidentally, it’s considered a flaw. 

The ideal temperature for storing wine is between 55-57ºF. This range is known as cellar temperature—it’s much warmer than the average household fridge but cool enough to prevent maderization. Prior to modern heating and cooling technology, wine (and other perishables, including root vegetables) were stored in cellars. Because they’re underground, cellars are cool and aren’t as susceptible to temperature changes as other rooms in the house. 

But nowadays, while you can resort to sticking a few bottles in a cool area of your house, there’s also the option to invest in a wine fridge, which gives you more control over temperature. “The variables that can unduly accelerate the lifespan of a wine—temperature, humidity, light, and vibration—are fairly well controlled by a wine fridge,” says Carney. Some of our favorite wine fridges, like the 32-bottle capacity Wine Enthusiast Dual Zone MAX Compressor Wine Cooler, even have dual temperature zones, meaning you can have two racks storing wine at different temperatures—fancy!

Single Vs. Dual Zone Wine Fridges 

As we mentioned above, some wine fridges give you the option to have two temperature zones; this feature is ideal if you store a variety of bottles. Conversely, single-zone models, as their name suggests, offer one zone of temperature control. That all being said, while wines are best cellared at different temperatures, we don’t think it’s a dealbreaker to store a few reds and whites together at 57°F. 

Wine Fridges Are Great for Long-Term Storage 

Since wine fridges hold wine in a dark, temperature-controlled setting, this makes them ideal for long-term wine storage. Barring an electrical outage, this consistency helps ensure a bottle of wine stays in pristine condition, even if you’re cellaring it for years. The best wine fridges for this should have tinted doors and horizontal shelves, which protect the wine from light strikes and prevents the cork from drying out, which can lead to oxidation. 

That said, some wines aren’t meant to be stored for a long time. “Some wines are for drinking now, others are for aging,” says de Nuez. “Primary fruit tends to fall away as the wine ages.” Whites, rosés, and some natural wines are created to showcase delicate fruit and light floral flavors. These bottles are best consumed fresh and young. It’s perfectly fine to store them for a few weeks or even months, but if they’re stored for too long, the subtle notes will dull over time. If a wine has a synthetic cork or a crown cap, that’s a good sign that it was intended for immediate consumption. 

Consider How Much Wine You Want to Store—and Your Space 

the rocco wine fridge with bottles of liquor stored on top
A wine fridge that fits your space nicely is a boon.Serious Eats / Adam Rothbarth

“For commercial purposes, it is not unusual for a temperature-controlled wine cellar to be custom-built,” says Carney. “[They’re] often built to be displayed in the restaurant to demonstrate to their guests that when they shell out $800 for a bottle of wine, they can be assured that it has been perfectly cared for.” 

While dreamy, most folks aren’t looking to create a literal wine cave in their basement. 

Instead, most at-home wine fridges are more approachable, with capacities ranging from as low as four bottles to larger ones, like the Eurocave, that carry upwards of 146. Which size you choose depends on how much wine you want to have, though we recommend starting small for those new to cellaring. In addition to considering your bottle collection, it’s good to keep in mind where you want to put the fridge since these things can be big (and sometimes loud).

Special Features Are Fun, but Not Essential

Once you settle on a wine fridge that can adequately store your bottles, then you can look into ones with upgrades to make your experience even better. Some models come equipped with touchscreens that allow you to customize settings and easily maneuverable shelves that’ll take care not to scuff labels. The Rocco Super Smart Fridge boasts the fun feature of being able to take inventory from the comfort of your phone—great if you realize you’re out of rosé and have a party coming up (only slightly kidding).

The Criteria: What to Look for in a Wine Fridge

When choosing the best wine fridge, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Consider if you want to store wines at different temperatures (in which case, a dual-zone option is in order), how much wine you plan on cellaring, and if the fridge is easy to fill and unload bottles from. Price is another factor, and if you’re hesitant to shell out the big bucks, we do have options that are under $200. Bonus smart features like inventory management via an app can be fun additions, though they’re not required. 

Our Favorite, Expert-Recommended Wine Fridges 

What we liked: Sommeliers and wine experts rave about Wine Enthusiast's collection of fridges. Carney says The Institute of Culinary Education relies on the brand for its wine program, which is high praise indeed. This model holds up to 32 bottles, making it suitable for industry pros or folks just getting into cellaring. Its dual-zone design allows you to customize two separate temperature areas between 41-64°F. It’s also quiet, energy-efficient, and releases minimal vibration, which can speed up the aging process and taint your sips. Plus, this wine fridge doesn’t take up too much space, since it only requires four inches on the back and top for proper air circulation and cooling performance.

What we didn’t like: As a free-standing model, this wine fridge may not fit in a specific space in your home, especially if you are looking for one to nestle into a particular spot.

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 32 bottles
  • Dimensions: 33.4 x 19.5 x 16.9 inches
  • Warranty: 1 year parts and labor; 3 years sealed system
Wine Enthusiast 32-Bottle Dual Zone MAX Compressor Wine Cooler
Wine Enthusiast

What we liked: The Rocco fridge boasts a modern design and has a stylish ribbed glass panel on the door. It comes in a few colors, too: chic white, mustard yellow, and glossy graphite. “It has dual temperature zones and a mid-century vibe (very aesthetic!), and the racks are spacious, with horizontal bars that keep bottles in place,” Riddley says. “Its top doubles as a bar cart, and it’s relatively quiet, too.” The smart features allow you to toggle between a temperature range of 37-64º F, and the app (theoretically) lets you see what’s inside your fridge (call it an “inventory management system” to make it sound professional). 

What we didn’t like: This model is quite pricey, and if you’re simply looking for a place to keep wine at appropriate temperatures, you might find the smart features excessive. The inventory management system could be better at recognizing brands.

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 27 bottles
  • Dimensions: 34.5 x 24 x 16 inches
  • Warranty: 10 years; 30-day risk-free trial 
Rocco The Super Smart Fridge
Rocco

What we liked: The Eurocave carries 146 bottles making it a great pick for industry professionals who need to store cases of wine. It has touchscreen control panels that allow you to toggle the temperature between 43-64°F. Plus, it has an alarm feature that notifies you of important changes like humidity levels so you can protect your bulk purchases. 

What we didn’t like: This fridge emits a low-pitched hum, which can be annoying. It's also quite an investment in terms of price.

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 146 bottles
  • Dimensions: 71.85 x 26.8 x 28.3 inches
  • Warranty: 1 year parts and labor, 5 years sealed system (parts only)
EuroCave La Premiere L Wine Cellar
Wine Enthusiast

What we liked: This petite, affordable fridge is great for folks looking to dip their toes into wine cellaring. Its adjustable shelves can hold up to eight bottles, and the compact fridge fits perfectly on a counter or bar cart. Plus, its thermoelectric cooling system makes this model quieter and more energy efficient.

What we didn’t like: This is a single temperature zone fridge—that said, we don’t necessarily think this is a con given the price tag.

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 8 bottles
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 17.5 x 17.25 inches
  • Warranty: 3 years
Cuisinart CWC-800CEN 8-Bottle Private Reserve Wine Cellar, Black
Amazon

What we liked: This model is a great starter appliance for learning how to care for wine. It can hold up to 12 bottles and has dual-zone features, which is pretty sweet for a $200 pick. Plus, its double-paned glass door helps maintain an optimal climate, ensuring that your investments remain aromatic and complex.

What we didn’t like: This wine fridge does run a bit loud, and the warranty is shorter than others.

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 12 bottles
  • Dimensions: 34.4 x 23.9 x 26.4 inches
  • Warranty: 1 year
Ivation 12 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator
Ivation

FAQs

What is the ideal long-term storage for wine?

The time required to preserve wine depends on several factors, such as the type and flavor profile you wish to achieve. Wine fridges can assist you in monitoring your bottles to safeguard them from potential threats such as temperature, humidity, light, vibrations, and improper positioning. If you plan to age your bottles, preserving them in a fridge for several years is possible, depending on your goals. Regardless of whether you intend to age your investments for five years or twenty, maintaining them in an optimal environment will help extend their lifespan and maintain their quality.

Do you have to store different wines differently?

Different types of wine require specific storage temperatures. For example, Carney says most reds should be stored at 60°F, while most whites should be kept at 55°F. If you are unsure about the temperature required for a particular wine, you can check the label on the bottle for further instructions. Dual-zone fridges are available to help you store wines in varying environments. By preserving bottles in the appropriate climate, you set yourself up to enjoy aromatic and delicious pours.

How long does a wine fridge last?

A wine fridge's durability depends on how it is built and maintained. We recommend purchasing a model with a quality warranty policy to ensure your investment is protected. Our research shows that most coverages last between three and 10 years

Does the warranty policy matter for a wine fridge? 

Depending on the model you choose, wine fridges can be costly. Like all appliances, they’re prone to mishaps, so it makes sense to invest in one with a good warranty. When researching the winners, the best coverages ranged from three years up to ten. 

Why We’re the Experts

  • Ashia Aubourg is a freelance writer who has worked in kitchens (and on farms). 
  • For this story, she spoke to Aubrey Bailey (the first female sommelier at the French Laundry and owner of Cadet and Chispa) and Scott Carney (master sommelier, and dean of Wine Studies at the Institute of Culinary Education).
  • Madeline Muzzi is a certified sommelier who has written extensively for Serious Eats. 
  • For this piece, Madeline interviewed Daniel de la Nuez of Forthave Spirits and Cesar Vega of Les Vins de Barbichette.